Saturday, February 4, 2023

Gang attack in Haiti’s capital: three police officers killed

PORT-AU-PRINS ( Associated Press) — A Haitian gang stormed a key part of the capital Port-au-Prince and clashed with police throughout the day, leaving at least three officers dead.

Friday’s violent incident is the latest episode of the chaos that has wreaked havoc in the Caribbean country.

Armed men ambushed a police patrol on Friday, Lionel Lazare, head of the national union for Haitian police, reported on Saturday. The policemen were furious because he called for reinforcements and they never arrived, he said.

Police confirmed on Friday afternoon that at least three policemen were killed in the ambush, one is missing and another is being treated in hospital.

The fighting continued until Friday and by Saturday the atmosphere was still tense.

The United Nations estimates that 60% of the Haitian capital is controlled by gangs, but many residents say gang violence has spread beyond the perimeter and into much of the city.

The country has struggled with endemic violence for years, but in 2021 chaos erupted after the assassination of President Jovenel Mose.

Powerful gangs have taken advantage of the political chaos and discontent with the current government, led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, to further consolidate their control.

The government has failed to control the violence, which has caused many to flee their homes and gang rapes and murders are on the rise.

Analysts forecast the bloodshed would worsen, especially as the country’s last 10 elected officials ended their terms in the Senate in early January, leaving the parliament and presidency vacant as Haiti has failed to call elections. Critics say this makes Haiti a “de facto dictatorship”.

Nation World News Desk
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